Key topics for reaching the EU 2020 Biodiversity Target in Greece
- Species protection: Although progress has been achieved in ensuring legislative measures are in place regarding illegal killing, Greece is seriously lagging behind with implementation. Illegal hunting, trapping, as well as poison baits are significantly widespread. There is lack of adequate policing, political will and scarce resources for the relevant authorities. An alarming example is this year’s annihilation of the largest Griffon Vulture colony in continental Greece, as well as the loss of one the last pairs of Egyptian Vultures, due to poisoning from baits.
- Site protection: There is poor implementation of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive. This is a result of low quality Appropriate Assessments for small and major projects, lack of enforcement of the approved Environmental Terms, as well as serious lack of compensation measures in Natura 2000 sites. As a result there is still an open infringement procedure against Greece regarding protection measures for the SPA network, as well as several NGO and citizen complaints to the European Commission regarding degradation in Natura 2000 sites.
- Threats from a specific sector: wind farm development. The uncontrolled development of wind energy infrastructure is causing deterioration of habitat quality and high risk of collisions all over Greece. This is caused by the lack of a strategic approach to Renewable Energy Sources planning, the bad quality of Appropriate Assessment in sensitive areas and the bypassing of safeguards (established after the 2011 “fast-track” law) for protecting biodiversity during the environmental assessment process.